The conflict between the Boston Red Sox and the Baltimore Orioles all started a few weeks ago in Baltimore as Manny Machado slid into second base in an effort to break up a double play.
While Machado slid past the second base, this slide was not malicious at all. By the rules, it was illegal, but there have been much worse slides in the past that have severely injured middle infielders.
In this case, it was clear that Chase Utley had no intention of actually sliding into second base, he just wanted to take out New York Mets short stop Rubén Tejada to break up the double play. This is a part of baseball that has existed for years. But if it gets to this point where people are getting hurt and there are slides like this, there must be rules put in place to prevent it.
In the most recent case, Machado was thrown at in his next at bat.
This incident has perpetuated into a very serious situation between these two teams. Machado fired back at the Red Sox a few days ago in a press conference.
Prior to last night’s matchup between these two teams, warnings were issued by the MLB that there would be a zero-tolerance policy when it came to malicious play. It only took five batters for tempers to flare yet again as a hanging curve ball from Orioles starter Kevin Gausman met the lower waist of Xander Bogaerts.
While the home plate umpire was instructed to be very strict and proactive in this game, he made a huge mistake by ejecting Gausman. Clearly, Gausman was not purposely throwing at Bogaerts. Even after Bogaerts was hit by Gausman, he subtly shows signs of frustration exhibiting that this was not on purpose.
To make matters even worse, the pitch was a 77-mph curve ball. Sometimes, curve balls hang and never break and run inside on hitters. That is exactly what happened on this pitch and somehow Gausman was ejected. If the pitch was a 95-mph heater to the back, it would be a different story.
This entire incident was instigated by the Boston Red Sox and the Baltimore Orioles are the victims receiving the backlash. The umpiring staff of last night’s game should be completely ashamed of themselves for letting this happen. If anyone should be held accountable, it’s the Boston Red Sox.
These two teams face off again tonight in Boston at 7:10 p.m.